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How Does Obama Feel About Immigration Reform?

How Does Obama Feel About Immigration Reform?


The topic of immigration has always been a sensitive issue in America, and over the years, several attempts have been made by various administrations to reform the immigration system. In 2013, under the leadership of President Obama, the United States came close to a comprehensive immigration reform bill when the Senate passed a bipartisan legislation aimed at overhauling the immigration system. However, despite the efforts, the bill’s momentum was slowed down, and eventually, the proposal failed to turn into law.

Obama’s immigration reform policies:

Throughout his two terms as President, Obama made several attempts to reform and improve America’s immigration system. His administration took several executive actions aimed at ensuring that more than a million undocumented immigrants could lawfully remain in the country.

In 2012, Obama’s administration announced the creation of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. This program was designed to protect young immigrants, brought to the country as children, from the threat of deportation and enable them to work legally in the US.

Obama also tried to pass the comprehensive immigration reform bill during his second term, which could have provided a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants. However, despite his best efforts, the proposed 2013 immigration reform bill faced stiff opposition from the Republican lawmakers in the House of Representatives, and the bill failed to pass.

Furthermore, the Obama administration prioritized apprehension, detention, and removal of dangerous immigrants, including those who violated criminal laws; however, it emphasized that the removal process should be more humane and prioritize the individuals who pose a considerable risk to public safety.

The election of Donald Trump in 2016 led to an entirely different approach to immigration policy whereby his administration took a hard line on illegal immigration and border security. The Trump administration announced the end of DACA, tried to end the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) program, ended the family separation policy, implemented a travel ban for several Muslim-majority countries, and increased border security measures.

However, with a new administration in place, the question arises, how does Obama feel about immigration reform, and what could be the potential changes in immigration policy under the new administration.

Obama’s position on immigration reform

Obama’s views on immigration reform haven’t wavered since the end of his term. He believes that comprehensive immigration reform is necessary to fix the broken immigration system in the United States. In a recent interview with NPR, Obama stated that he is hopeful that the Biden administration can make progress in immigration reform, specifically mentioning the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program and TPS.

The former president believes that, although executive actions have been taken to protect undocumented immigrants, immigration reform must be passed through Congress because immigration is a complex and multi-faceted issue. He states that it is impossible to address all aspects of the problem solely through executive actions. Obama argued that comprehensive immigration reform should be a priority for the Biden administration, and it must include dialogue and input from all stakeholders, including business leaders, law enforcement officials, and immigrant communities.

Obama also believes that changes are needed in the US asylum system. He highlighted that people seeking asylum are being mistreated and denied their rights at the border. He argues that the US should have a more humane system that treats asylum seekers with dignity. This system should respect the principles of rule of law and humanitarian value and treat immigrants justly.

Biden’s Immigration policies:

After his inauguration, President Biden signed several executive orders on immigration. These orders aim to undo the damage caused by the Trump administration, which had an aggressive deportation and border control policy.

One of the first acts taken by the Biden administration was the restoration of the DACA program, which Trump had tried to terminate. The restoration of the program would allow for the protection of over a million young immigrants who would otherwise have been deported.

Another executive action signed by Biden during his first weeks in office included the development of a task force dedicated to the reunification of migrant families who were separated at the US-Mexico border by the Trump administration. This task force would be responsible for locating and reuniting these families. Biden also focused on putting an end to the “Remain in Mexico” policy, which put asylum seekers in danger across the border.

Furthermore, Biden has also proposed comprehensive immigration reform legislation, which if passed, would provide a path to citizenship for millions of undocumented immigrants. The proposed legislation would also address legal immigration issues, eliminate the visa backlog, and put in place a plan to deal with the root causes of migration from Central American countries.


Immigration reform has been on the political agenda for several years, and during his presidency, President Obama made it a priority. Although his efforts to pass comprehensive immigration reform through Congress failed, he took executive actions to protect vulnerable immigrant populations. Under the Trump administration, immigration policies became harsh, and the progress made during the Obama administration was significantly reversed.

With the Biden administration in place, immigration reform and policy shifts are expected to continue to progress. President Biden has made it clear that he would like to see comprehensive immigration reform, and he has already signed several executive orders aimed at addressing issues created by the previous administration. It remains to be seen how the progress will pan out concerning this complex issue, but it appears that President Biden and his administration are committed to making immigration reform a priority.

Possible new President Obama hopes to strengthen the United States-Mexico border by funding an increase in security personnel and technological advancements at all ports of entry. He also has planned to help many illegal aliens make an easy transition from illegal to legal status, hoping to keep families together and meet the constant demands for the jobs American employers are unable to fill.

Strengthening the interior enforcement of employers hiring illegal immigrants is  high on the agenda as well. Obama believes that by tightening the reins on employers who hire illegal immigrants, the incentive for entering the country illegally will decrease due to the lack of available jobs that would be available for illegal immigrants. Although there are already immigration laws dedicated to prosecuting these employers, they are rarely enforced. New enforcement plans would include higher fines and possible jail time for violators if they are caught.

The biggest change that would occur under Obama’s new plan would be the same “amnesty” plan that has been pushed for years by various presidential administrations. When former President George Bush tried to get a similar plan passed in 2004, it was shot down by Congress.

This was a big blow to the Bush administration, whose immigration reform policy proposal was a cornerstone of its national agenda. This new amnesty plan would allow for many illegal immigrants who are in good standing to be allowed to obtain citizenship by paying a fine and learning English, although they would have to proceed through the entire naturalization process to become an official citizen.

The final part of President Obama’s plan would be to take a direct approach with Mexico by promoting a higher standard of economic development for the country. The hope would be that if the economy in Mexico improved, Mexican residents would have the incentive to stay in Mexico. Immigration laws have been aiming to address Mexico’s economic problems for many years.